5 Non-Ridiculous Ways to Save Money
There are loads of "how to save money" articles on the internet. You'll appreciate this list because it isn't ridiculous.
I enjoy a good money saving article as much as the next person. But, they tend to be ridiculous and impractical. They start off by telling you to unplug all of your unused appliances which is advice that is practical, and good for the planet but not a dramatic savings of money to telling you to get a new roof and buy an electric car. Flippant advice to spend thousands to save hundreds is incredibly unrelatable. So, in protest, I've written this list of totally practical money saving tips that you can accomplish in one day.
1. Buy Grocery Gas
This piece of advice is my absolute favorite. Many grocery chains also offer gas, usually in an adjacent parking lot. I'm in the Midwest and my local Hy-Vee grocery store offers discounts on their gas which can accumulate for a month. Many of the items I purchase regularly offer two cents to five cents discounts per gallon. By only buying gas from my grocery store I've been able to reduce my fuel bill by upwards of 70% every month.
2. Switch to a "Pay as You Go" Phone Plan
Remember when cell phone plans didn't tack on a bunch of extra charges and make your lease your cell phones? Yeah, it seems like eons ago. They seem to fix plans so that everything costs at least $100 a month. Also even though you're paying at least $100 a month so that everything is unlimited, your bill is STILL never the same two months in a row. It's incredible. If you haven't guessed, I am SO over cell phone plans and that leads me to my second point of advice.
Move your phone number to a pay as you go plan with your preferred carrier. All cell phone carriers offer prepaid plans, many are only $50 a month, and you still get the same network. It's honestly a no-brainer unless you've been looped into a family plan, which is the modern day cable bundle package. Don't get me started on those cable bundle packages of yesteryear.
3. Stop Ignoring Balance Transfer Offers
If you carry a $5,000 credit card balance with an 18% interest rate and only pay the minimum, it will take you 8 years and an additional $4,311.18 in interest to pay it off. Sounds awful right? You can save all that money by transferring your balance to another credit card.
If your credit is in at least decent shape then you likely receive 0% balance transfer offers constantly. Stop ignoring those offers. Instead, complete a balance transfer online in 5 minutes and save your money.
4. Bundle Your Insurance Policies
Insurance policy bundling may be the only bundling I'll consider. Hopefully, I'll never need to use any of them anyways. All major insurance providers offer different types of insurance at separate premiums. You need to carry insurance and likely a few different types. If you're currently renting then you need renters insurance. If you have a car then you need at least liability insurance; you get my point. Call your insurance company and see about bundling discounts. You can end up saving 10% to 15% a year on your premiums.
5. Cancel Your Subscriptions
Companies today are "subscription crazy." It feels like you can't even purchase a service outright anymore. A subscription-based model is great for them because it's guaranteed recurring revenue. For you, paying $24.99/mo seems much more palatable than paying $300 up front. However, when you sign up for a bunch of subscriptions it's easy to not see the big picture financially. When I got rid of my cable plan I instantly started saving money. I went from a $50 cable bill to a $9.99 Netflix bill and I was solid. Then, more media companies started popping up with exclusive content and their own subscription models. I couldn't help myself
I love Netflix's exclusive content, but you can't NOT have HBO right? Oh, and don't forget about Hulu! How else can I stay caught up on my network shows? That's just part of my list of subscription entertainment. When I calculated all the entertainment subscriptions I had, I realized I was paying about $50 a month again. Or, the same amount I was paying for cable. The issue goes beyond entertainment. See which phone apps you have subscription services for. I have a subscription yoga app and a subscription meditation app. Something has got to give.